Emirates airline warns of busy weekend ahead at Dubai airport

Etihad Airways also gearing up for high passenger numbers during Eid Al Adha

A picture take on September 14, 2017 shows Emirates planes parked at the tarmac at Dubai's International Airport.
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A busy travel weekend lays ahead, as more borders reopen and travel restrictions are eased across the world, Emirates has warned.

The Dubai airline is expecting high passenger volumes to pass through Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport this weekend, as traveller numbers reach among highest levels since the pandemic began, reads a statement.

It warned travellers may face longer-than-expected waiting times at check-in counters, urging passengers to arrive earlier than usual.

“Customers starting their journey from Dubai are encouraged to physically check in and drop their bags early to avoid long wait times,” the airline stated. Check-in is available up to 24 hours before departure, or 12 hours prior for those flying to the US.

Online check-in is available from 48 hours before departure, although customers still need to visit Emirates check-in counters or contactless kiosks at the airport to complete final travel documentation checks ahead of travelling.

Eid Al Adha passenger numbers soar

Etihad Airways is also gearing up for a busy travel period, particularly during the Eid holidays at Abu Dhabi International Airport, as it launches new routes to Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, plus Malaga, Spain.

The capital’s airline issued a statement with travel tips to make passengers’ journeys as smooth as possible. This includes checking any travel restrictions at your final destination ahead of departure; ensuring you have the correct Covid-19 documentation; and arriving early, up to four hours before departure.

The Eid Al Adha holiday will start on Monday, with a day off for Arafat Day, and run until Thursday, July 22. Combined with the weekend, this gives many people across the country six days off.

It is expected that a large number of people from the capital will choose to travel, especially as Abu Dhabi has also expanded its quarantine-free travel green list, which now features 35 countries, up from 31 last month.

The Green List, which was updated on Tuesday, now features 35 destinations, with the addition of Albania, Armenia, Belgium, Canada, France, Hungary, Jordan, the Netherlands, Ireland, Romania, Seychelles, Turkmenistan and the Vatican City.

The latest changes mean travellers can now fly to and from more destinations and not have to self-isolate on arrival in Abu Dhabi.

Travel is back on the agenda

While demand for global travel is expected to remain soft for the rest of the year, UAE residents appear more eager than most to take flight.

A recent survey from YouGov reveals that UAE residents are more likely than any other global consumers to travel abroad for leisure in the next 12 months.

The report investigated global travel demand, as well as the concerns and motivations of about 185,000 respondents from 25 markets around the world. Only 18 per cent of those surveyed said they were planning an international holiday in the next 12 months.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia bucked the trend, with 58 per cent of respondents in the UAE and 48 per cent in Saudi Arabia saying they planned to take at least one international trip in the next year.

Updated: July 14, 2021, 1:24 PM